Thursday, June 23, 2011

10 Reasons I'm Glad I'm Doing This Triathlon.........

Ok- so I have been neglecting my blog a bit lately. In fact, if I am totally honest with myself- I have been neglecting a lot of things lately.
My social life, my overgrown lawn, Pilates workouts and my boyfriend all make the list of things that have been majorly ignored and lacking attention recently. Over the last few months I have been focused, or maybe I should even say even consumed- by training for the Philly Triathlon and starting a new job at work. The only two other things that have even had a fighting chance to squeeze in were a few family events and holidays and my diabetes care. I am not complaining though. Despite the added stress, sacrifice and even tears, I can truly say I have been happy to be very busy with these adventures in my life, especially the one involving my triathlon training.
With the Triathlon only a few days away, I am filled with so many emotions. Of course I am nervous; worried I will forget something or have a horrendous low blood sugar during the race. But I am also so excited and eagerly anticipating actually doing it all. Overall it has been a wonderful experience. Something worth the sacrifice and something I am so proud to be a part of. I would do all over again in a heartbeat.
So as I pray for good weather the next few days (rain will make the river too muddy to swim) I thought I would share with you 10 Reasons Why I Am So Glad I Got Convinced To Sign Up for this Triathlon……
1)      The Opportunity to Help People: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is such a wonderful organization and my family, friends, and co-workers were BEYOND generous in helping me reach my fundraising goal and give back to a worthy cause. I am blown away with how much support I received and how much this will help those suffering from blood cancers.
2)      The Chance to Get in Shape: I was never much of an athlete growing up. I am still no Lance Armstrong but I am probably in the best shape of my life. I have lots a few pounds over the last few months and it has been great to feel like I am getting more endurance. My race time on Sunday will be nothing to write home about, but it has still felt good to see some of the long training hours pay off.
3)      I Conquered My Fear of the Bike: As some of you may know, I basically had to re-learn how to ride a bike. I started out slow and shaky but I am proud to report I am far from my days of practicing in parking lots and can safely ride with my clip in shoes and can even take one hand off the handle bars to reach for my water bottle!!
4)      The Great People: I met so many wonderful people through Team In Training. Coaches, Mentors, folks who have completed Iron Mans and others just like me doing their very first Triathlon. All of them have taught and inspired me so much. They offered great support, tips, and were so committed to helping the LLS and all of us triathlon “newbies”.
5)      The Open Water Swim at Lake Nockamixom: This Saturday Morning was one of my favorite parts of my whole training. It was not only my first open water lake swim but it was official intro to Wet Suits. I went crazy for the wet suit.  How can you not?!!  It helps you swim and it is basically a warm comfy Snuggie. Pretty amazing.
6)      I Will So Much More Appreciate Sleeping In. Some of the early Saturday AM workouts were tough. I will totally enjoy sleeping in after this training is over. And I won’t feel so bad if I skip a workout. Sleeping in and skipping work outs – sounds incredible.
7)      My Cool Biker Short Tan: Ha no- it’s not a pretty sight actually…..but I loved being able to spend so much time outside while biking or running and being able to explore new bike trails in my area and paths around Kelly Drive. It was really awesome.
8)      The Triathlon was my Hobby: I have always struggled to find “my thing”. I was never an athlete, artist, musician, gardener, cook, writer, or tech-geek. In fact- I am still not sure what “my thing” is. But at least for a couple months, I had a thing. I had a challenge and a goal. Raising money, training and being involved in this was my thing. I liked having a thing.
9)      The Cool Gadgets: How else would I have ever known that there was such thing as a lap counter? (You wear it on your pointer finger to time yourself and count laps in the pool). And I am totally addicted to my GPS enabled watch to track miles while running. Not so good for the wallet- but there are some really cool gadgets out there.
10)   It took Courage: I hate to admit it, but my diabetes scares me. Low blood sugars during workouts scare me and high and low blood sugars before something important scare me. This whole undertaking scared me because of my diabetes and because of the unknown of how my body would react to all of this day to day- workout to workout.  I certainly don’t have it all figured out. Nor did I get it right all the time or do I know what Sunday will bring in terms of my blood sugar control. This experience has forced me to dig up courage and be brave in some really big ways. Was I fearless and strong everyday? No. Did I sometimes doubt myself or want to throw my meter in pool? Yes.  But in the end it has all been worth it. I "tried again tomorrow" as my favorite quote below states and I think I am a little stronger because of it all.

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow”
 -Mary Anne Radmacher